Saturday, February 28, 2009

older bound books

Who knows what the cover of this book was originally like, but the title is Mexican Folk Ceramics, printed exclusively on the spine. Every once in a while I come across these older bound books. Many have cool patterns. I used to come across them more often. The library doesn't bind books like this anymore, so here I start a record of this particular craft.

Friday, February 27, 2009

poetry friday: the thrall

i journeyed from the thrall
of deep forest
hypnotic moon
shimmering leaf light
to a cottage with a butter churn
and blue bedspread
the table has chairs
hearts carved in their backs
my angel her wings
illuminate the room
i set the table
for dinner

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

big ear tan coat convention

This morning I slept through pilates. Darn! I'm making myself feel better by posting another super cute Maximo and Lulu photo. For those of you who don't know, the dogs are color coded. Maximo is BLUE and Lulu is RED.

This photo documents the brief but wonderous big ear tan coat convention.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

color palette: guanajuato

I'm working on getting my submission of The Nik Notebooks, Volume One: THE SILVER SERPENT ready to send to an editor. My goal is to have my packet finished for one final review by my critique group before I kiss it goodbye, wish it luck, and drop it in the mail. Our critique group meets again on the 12th of March!

I will be sending a four-page full color art sample, put together in booklet form — which includes a cast of characters — my manuscript, a cover letter, and synopsis. This is what the editor requested. For now, this editor and the house will remain anonymous.

This is the color palette I will be working with to color the booklet. I developed the palette by eyeballing this colorful photo of a hillside in Guananjuato, where THE SILVER SERPENT takes place, and then working with the cmyk sliders in Adobe Illustrator. The photo is by Emmanuelle Lattes.

Here you can see the photo and the palette I developed from it. I love working with color. Developing palettes is funfunfun! It is great to be back on track again after a long illness. My submission is months behind schedule, but we are nearing the finish line at last! I better get to work now!

Friday, February 13, 2009

poetry friday: coffee zombie

brain dead
i sit
typing in the dark
emails i should have sent

dim february
morning light
shines on our metal
espresso maker

i hear steam
and i succumb —
the coffee zombie

my fishies, my pretties

Did I mention I'm trained as a Scientific Illustrator? I worked at The Seattle Aquarium as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator for four years, and my latest stint in the same job description was at The Burke Museum.

Here are samples of the hundreds of fish I drew and painted. The medium is watercolor with gouache applied mostly for highlights and the cleaning up of edges for placing on a solid ground. My fishies, my pretties.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

sketchbook: birdnose wrasse

The birdnose wrasse is my favorite tropical fish. They seem very curious, poking their noses into coils of coral, and rocky crevasses. If a population of females lack a male, one female will morph into a male so they can do what they're supposed to do: make more birdnose wrasses.

I include this sketch in my blog to demonstrate what it is to study something closely, and take time to observe its many minute features. With mounting pressure, I draw to produce, neglecting to make time for discovery. An iridescent scale, a budding leaf, an unfound door, of a scale, a leaf, a door. And all the forgotten places*. The curious part of myself seems to have been shelved somewhere. I'm off to go look for it.

* Thomas Wolfe, from Look Homeward, Angel

Monday, February 9, 2009

maximo dreaming

This morning, in the wee dark hours, my boy Maximo barked to say he needed to go outside. Snowflakes fat as silver dollars fell thick, and fast. Maximo and I stood on the porch, astonished.

This morning, after the sun came up, we went out again. The luminous snow — dimmer by daylight, and crunchy underfoot — melted while the trees went drip, drip, drip. I was glad Maximo woke me when he did. To witness snow falling in the most quiet hour is magic indeed.

Here lies Maximo dreaming of snowflakes, fat as silver dollars.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

maira's halleluja

Like most in this nation, I have been wowed by the election, and inauguration of the first African American President of the United States. I painted for days trying to express my feelings. Frustrated in my efforts, I shelved the idea, for the pursuit of happiness, which is my right as a citizen of this great country.

Maira Kalman, in her New York Times blog, expressed everything I felt, and more. Follow the link to find all the paintings in Maira's 44th presidential experience. These paintings moved me to tears, I kid you not. Maira Kalman, you are a goddess of artistic expression. Hallelujah, the angels are singing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

knotty tangle

Knotty tangle of bare black branches against a graying field of sky. This is the way my intestines feel after what I've suffered under the aptly named bacterial infection, c-difficile.

But wait! There's hope! A red breasted robin sits alone in the branches, singing. Singing! Oh, how her song fills me with certainty! This knotty tangle will soon be full to bursting with buds unfurling into riotous greenleaf.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

diving for pearls



Where did January go?

At least I'm settled into the new year. With goals, and the ability to reach them, coming quick. I have to pay attention now. I am diving for pearls.